Rapid return of runway requete flabbergasts P&R vice-president
DEPUTIES attempting to get the States to pay to investigate lengthening the runway want to waste money on off-island consultants, Policy and Resources vice-president Lyndon Trott has said.
He challenged the requete, which was submitted by seven deputies, led by Jan Kuttelwascher.
‘The States has already, recently and understandably, voted against wasting more of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash unnecessarily in this way,’ Deputy Trott said, referring to April's debate
‘We are flabbergasted to see this issue being dragged back to the States Assembly for what will essentially be no more than a repeat of a very recent debate.
‘It is also disappointing that this requete should be led by politicians who have it within their mandate to address serious and immediate problems facing our air links.
‘The members of the States’ Trading Supervisory Board should concentrate on what the role for Aurigny should be and how to reduce its escalating losses.
‘If any more work is done on looking at a runway extension, it must be as a part of this framework. That should then form part of a co-ordinated framework for air links, something Policy & Resources have called for in this year’s budget.’
The requete proposes that Economic Development present a business case and cost benefit of extending the runway to 1,700m and that P&R make up to £360,000 available.
The States had agreed not to fund further research into extending the runway.
‘To resurrect the idea of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds consulting on just this one aspect of our air links strategy, by way of a requete, is not joined up or co-ordinated,’ said Deputy Trott.
‘And the cost – £300,000 plus. The mind boggles. ‘
Deputy Trott said this would be the equivalent of funding 50 children through a year of primary school.
‘And all we will get is another report that tells us nothing new.’
Economic Development was unable to comment at this stage. One of the signatories, Deputy Joe Mooney, is a member.
Other petitioners are Deputies Jan Kuttelwascher, Peter Ferbrache and Jeremy Smithies – who are all on STSB – plus Marc Leadbeater, Jennifer Merrett and Victoria Oliver.